Smooth Newt - Lissotriton vulgaris

Alternative names
Common Newt, Triturus vulgaris

Both sexes are about 10cm long and a pale brown colour with pale orange bellies, except in the breeding season when the male becomes darker and develops a wavy crest along the length of its body. It also has a brighter orange, or pink, underside.

Similar Species

The Smooth Newt can be distinguished from the similar Palmate Newt by its spotty throat, which is unspotted in the Palmate.

Identification difficulty

Adult Smooth Newts emerge from hibernation on land from late February to May and head to fresh water to breed. They favour ponds and shallow lakesides.

When to see it

April - November

Life History

This is the commonest of our three native newts and the one frequently found in garden ponds. Surprisingly, the adult does not live in water most of the year. After the breeding season they move onto land such as woodland, damp heath and marsh areas for the rest of the year, feeding on insects, worms and slugs. The female lays up to 400 eggs, each stuck individually to water plant leaves. The young look like miniature newts but have external gills.

UK Status

Common and widespread.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map